Organisers of the annual Okpekpe 10km Road Race in Nigeria have announced a new prize money outlay for the fourth edition of the race scheduled for Saturday 7 May, 2016.
Spokesman for the Okpekpe 10km Road Race, Dare Esan revealed that a total of US$92,000 in prize money will be paid to the top eight finishers in the women and men's race.
The winner in each gender category will go home with US$15,000 while the second and third placers will each receive US$10,000 and US$7,000 respectively
''The prizes for 4th-8th placed finishers in each gender category are: US$5000, US$3,000, US$2,500, US$2,000, and US$1,500 respectively,' said Mr Esan, who also revealed the introduction of performance special bonuses for achieving a world leading time at this year's race.
He said that the organisers of the race are considering using pacemakers to help the athletes in their record-chasing mission.
"Pacemakers are runners who lead a middle or long distance running event for the first session to ensure a fast time and are frequently employed by race organisers for world-record attempts with specific instructions for lap times. This time we are employing them for world leading times," Esan explained.
The top three finishers in the 2015 Okpekpe 10km road race were rewarded with US$25, 000, US$15, 000 and US$10,000 respectively.
Esan also explained the reason for the reduction in the prize money for the top three finishers in this year's race:
“We are concerned about the quality of athletes we invite for the race because of its status as the only IAAF bronze-labelled 10km road race in Africa and one of only two IAAF labelled road race in Africa so far this year.
"That is why we brought in the highly respected international marathon/road race organiser, Walter Abmayr to ensure we get athletes who can run world leading times in Okpekpe."
“We know athletes who have attained gold level or silver level running status will demand appearance fees and that is why some of the invited athletes will be paid appearance fees.
"We really want to go for the best legs in the world because Okpekpe 10km road race is an international event certified by the IAAF,' Esan also revealed a new prize money outlay for Nigerian runners at the race.
'The total prize purse has been increased to N1.1m with the first placed finishers in both the men and women race going home with N250, 000 while the second to the fifth placed finishers will get N100, 000, N80,000, N70,000 and N50,000 respectively," he added.
Esan also clarified that the payment of prize money and bonuses is dependent upon athletes clearing the usual anti-doping procedures.